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Bitter Sugar Details


Gustavo (Rene Lavan) is an engineering student born and raised in Cuba who strongly believes in his nation's socialist ideals at a time when those ideals are crumbling around him. His girlfriend, Yolanda (Mayte Vilan), dreams of emigrating to Miami and making a life for herself as a professional dancer. His father, Tomas (Miguel Gutierrez), is a respected psychiatrist who he can barely support himself working at a state-run institution; he moonlights as a jazz pianist, where he makes four times his medical salary playing for tips to tourists at a nightclub. And his brother Bobby (Larry Villanueva) is a rock musician whose long hair and defiant posture have made him an enemy of the state and an outspoken opponent of Castro's regime; when yet another of his performances is shut down and his equipment is confiscated by police, Bobby, in an extreme act of protest, publicly injects himself with HIV-tainted blood, making clear that when presented with the slogan of "socialism or death," he would prefer the latter. Azucar Amarga was a highly personal project for director Leon Ichaso, a emigre from Havana who has offered one of the few portraits of Cuban unrest in the 1990s from a Cuban point-of-view. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


René Lavan
as Gustavo Valdez
Mayte Vilan
as Yolanda
Larry Villanueva
as Bobby
Luis Celeiro
as Mr. Garcia (The Teacher)
Felix German
as Secutiry Guard (Beach)
Orestes Matacena
as Claudio


Leon Ichaso
Leon Ichaso
Jaime Pina
Leon Ichaso
Orestes Matacena
Manuel Tejeda
David Tedeschi
Yvette Pineyro
Liliana Soto
Production Designer
Claudio Chea
Associate Producer
Claudio Chea
Camera Operator

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